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What are the most dangerous apps for kids and teens?

Beth Vickery – Prevention Specialist

Our kids today are growing up in a technological world that I could never have
imagined as a little girl. My daughter is 12 years old and there is not a day that passes
without her using some form of technology. Whether it is using her Chromebook at
school, typing locations into google maps (so I don’t get lost while driving), or using her
phone to chat with her friends, it has become second nature to her. I think back to a
proverb from the very wise man Peter Parker, “With great power comes great
responsibility.” This applies to both parents and children with the tools they are using

This responsibility is two-fold. First, the kids need to realize that their phones
are basically minicomputers. There are precautions they need to take to ensure their
safety. They also need to be able to distinguish between the verbiage they use to text
their friends versus a paper they would turn into their English teacher. One final
understanding they need to have is what I call the “grandma test”. If you wouldn’t want
your grandma to see it, then do not post it on social media. Young adults need to
realize that once something is posted, it is NEVER deleted and could affect them many
years down the road.

So as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children how to properly use
the technology that they have in their lives. In order to do this, we as parents need to
keep up with current trends and be knowledgeable about different web sites and apps
that our children may encounter. I created an infographic highlighting 8 popular apps,
how they are used, and potential risks. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good
place to start. As a parent I know it is ok to ask my daughter questions and regularly
check to see what she is doing on her phone. Sometimes kids get into situations or
download apps that they don’t even see the potential dangers. It is our job to teach and
protect them.